START’s annual 5&Under program invites Wake Forest alumni who have graduated within the last five years to engage with current students about their transition after graduation into art-connected careers in the arts. This year START is pleased to feature photographs by Kovi Konowiecki (’14) for the 5&Under exhibition. Along with Kovi, Katie Winokur (’14) and Kelsey Zalimeni (’14), both of whom now work as arts professionals, will return to Wake Forest for a presentation on their postgraduate experiences and their co-creation of DeacLink, the WFU alumni network for arts professionals.
The exhibition features photographs from two of Konowiecki’s series: Borderlands and The Hawks Come Up Before the Sun. Borderlands concerns the internal boundaries that human beings create to contain mercurial emotions, and the interface of these with existing physical and geographical demarcations. The works in Borderlands, taken from 2014-2017, present individuals and communities that exist in a liminal condition, in Watts (CA), Long Beach (CA), the California desert, Mexico and Israel. These works are shown with pieces from The Hawks Come Up Before the Sun, all of which were taken between 2016 and 2018 in the western part of the California desert. Konowiecki paid for the right to capture many of the subjects with a pack of cigarettes or a liter of soda from the local Country Mart. In his 5&Under exhibition, works from Borderlands and The Hawks Come Up Before the Sun converge to address the personal and social experiences of rugged geographies; Konowiecki sees this convergence as “the conversation between the people and the land.”
Kovi Konowiecki (b.1992) was born in Long Beach, California. He holds a BA in Communications from Wake Forest University and an MA in Photography from University of the Arts London. After playing professional soccer in Germany and Israel, he turned to photography as a way to document the things around him and shed light on different aspects of his identity. Kovi was shortlisted for the 2016 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize and was the first-ever nominee to have two images shortlisted for the first place prize.
Katie Winokur (’14) is an Executive Search and Assessment Professional at Russell Reynolds Associates. Based in Atlanta, Winokur leads research on high-profile executive searches across a variety of organizations, including the country’s top museums, cultural organizations, and philanthropies. Before joining Russell Reynolds, Winokur worked with Surya, a home décor company, and in private art sales. She graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Art History.
Kelsey Zalimeni (’14) is Manager at Thompson’s Gallery in London, United Kingdom, where she oversees all aspects of gallery operation. Zalimeni has served as a blogger with the contemporary culture site Mechanical Dummy and Hyperrealist artist Carole Feuerman, as well as Curatorial Assistant for Art15, London’s global art fair. She has also played professional soccer in London. Zalimeni graduated with Honors in Studio Art.